Staff to evaluate Metropolitan Park District to fund the ARC
Contact: Jennifer Schroder, Director
Parks & Community Services Department
KIRKLAND, Wash. – At its April 21, 2015 meeting, the Kirkland City Council unanimously approved Resolution R-5124 (PDF) formally removing Juanita Beach Park as a potential site for the proposed Aquatics/Recreation/Community (ARC) Center and authorizing the next steps to place a ballot measure before Kirkland voters as early as November 2015. The ballot measure would propose that a Municipal Park District (MPD) be created as a means to fund the project through property tax collection.
In order to place the MPD measure on the November 3, 2015 General Election ballot, the City could need to file the measure with the King County Elections Office by August 4, 2015. The City Council requested that staff return with the legal and financial analysis necessary for the City Council to make a final decision. The City Council also seeks additional public outreach and education to the community on both the proposed ARC and a MPD.
As a result of extensive public outreach and feedback, a comprehensive evaluation of the City’s existing recreation programs and facilities, and an assessment of market conditions, the proposed recommended facility components include:
- 13-lane competition/lap pool
- Recreation pool
- 250-person community hall/banquet facility
- Child watch area
- Classrooms, party room, activity and art rooms
- Wood floor studios
- Single-court gymnasium
- Fitness room
- Community spaces
- Administrative offices and other support spaces
The need for indoor recreation facilities for Kirkland’s growing population has been identified by residents for many years and confirmed by recent surveys. In 2014 and 2015, citizen surveys rated an indoor recreation and aquatics center as a high priority. In 2013, the City of Kirkland initiated a siting study for an aquatics center when the Lake Washington School District announced it would not fund the renovation or replacement of the Juanita Aquatics Center (Juanita High School indoor pool).
For project background and to receive project updates via email, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/kirklandarc.
About a Metropolitan Park District:
Washington State law (RCW 35.61) allows cities and counties (or a combination of them) to create a Metropolitan Park District (MPD) for the management, control, improvement, maintenance, and acquisition of parks, parkways, boulevards, and recreational facilities. An MPD may include territory located in portions or in all of one or more cities or counties, or in one or more cities and counties. The formation of an MPD may be made by (citizen) petition or by a resolution of the governing body or bodies within which the district is to be located. The petition or resolution submitting the ballot proposition must designate the composition of the board of metropolitan park commissioners. A MPD requires a 50 percent voter approval. If approved, the MPD must be created as a municipal corporation effective immediately upon certification of the election results.